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Morning Brief: So...You Voted. What's Next?

Mock Election September 2019 Voting Los Angeles County - vote here sign
(Al Kamalizad
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Friday, June 10.

Happy Friday, everyone. We finally made it to the freakin’ weekend. I don’t know about you, but I’m still thinking about the primary elections. I did my part. I voted for the best candidates who could solve issues like homelessness. But what now? First of all, relax. We have six months until the General Election in November. Second of all, just read what we have here.

As you may know, I don’t keep my curiosity in my head. I sought out answers from experts.

I talked to Fernando J. Guerra, a professor of political science and chicana/o latina/o studies at Loyola Marymount University, and my colleague, criminal justice reporter Frank Stoltze, about their takeaways after the primary elections.

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Both said that voters were split.

Here’s Guerra: “I think they were thinking about two things, and to some extent, contradictory ones, about the values and what they aspire the city to be, and who are the leaders to take us there.”

Take the mayor’s race, for example, in which former Congresswoman Karen Bass will face-off against billionaire developer Rick Caruso in November. Guerra says that homelessness is the biggest issue on the minds of voters and residents, and previously empathetic voters have grown frustrated with the lack of action. It’s affected quality of life issues so some are losing hope with liberal democrats that have been in charge. “That created the opening for someone like Caruso to run as an outsider saying, look, there's a problem. I didn't cause it. I'm going to fix it,” says Guerra.

"Too many people conflate homelessness with rising crime," says Stoltze. "Nonetheless you see some candidates, including Rick Caruso, promising to hire more police officers to 'clean up the streets. You see this happening in some of the council races as well." Caruso will face former Congresswoman Karen Bass in the fall.

On the other hand, Guerra points out progressive candidates did pull ahead in many races. He pointed to progressive City Council candidates who advanced to November, like Erin Darling from the 11th District and Hugo Soto Martinez from the 13th District.

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"In each of these cases," says Stoltze, "you have police backed folks who, you know, to some extent reject the criminal justice reform agenda, but you have them run it against people who want to see reforms like more lenient penalties, and rehabilitation, pushed."

"That's a story to me," says Guerra. "Now, in November, they could all lose, right? And so maybe it wasn't just there. But even if they lose, this is the basis and the beginning of the true progressive movement that we are going to see in LA for the next 20 to 30 years."

With all that said, low voter turnout remains an issue. And with L.A. being 49% Latino, Guerra says that there needs to be more intentionality with institutions that educate and mobilize the broader electorate, specifically Latinos.

“There’s no reason why California can’t spend millions to advertise the election to come out and vote,” Guerra said. “In political science, there's overwhelming evidence that if you target an area with the right message that’s easy to come up with and the right messenger, turnout will increase.”

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The L.A. County Registrar will update the vote count later today, but the official results for the election will not be certified until July 7. Make sure you continue to check out LAist’s live election results.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go... Our 2000s era princess Christina Aguilera is BACK?!?!

People in a crowd hold up colorful letters that spell "pride."
West Hollywood celebrates Pride this weekend, June 3-5.
(SARAH MORRIS/Getty Images
Getty Images North America)

There are tons of exciting things to do this weekend — stuff for free and stuff that costs money.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has screamed WTF is an NFT?!?! Well, now there’s an event to find out all about this blockchain technology that everyone is talking about. It’s at The Hammer Museum from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow. It’s free, but RSVP! 

Tomorrow from 1 to 11 p.m. there’s L.A. Pride in the Park. Christina Aguilera, Anitta, Syd, Chika and Golden-Globe winner Michaela Jaé (formerly known as MJ Rodriguez) will perform. You don’t want to miss the festivities!

Check out the rest of the list here.

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